Thursday, December 14, 2017

Carved In Stone

Regardless of the size of the organization.

Let's agree they are all complex.


Many Parts




My eyes only see a fraction of the whole.

What part am I not seeing?

Which employee am I missing?

What issue is just beyond my line of sight?

Who is struggling that I can help, but I just don't notice them?

How About You
Am I inflexible and carved so deeply in stone that I'm missing...well... everything around me? 

What, or more importantly, who, might you be missing in your world?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, December 11, 2017

If Not Us, Then Who

"That's not my job."
"Those issues are outside my scope."
"I don't have authority to address that."
"I'm in HR, that's an Operations issue."

It's About Action
What in the world is happening?

Have we lost our way in HR? Is there something inherent in how we view our roles, that has inadvertently backed us into a position where we feel we are not leaders of the organization?

Check out this recent example of HR in action:

A hospital's laboratory department [not a client] was struggling with turnover, scheduling, and low morale. The HR leader proactively joined in the solutions process and pulled schedules, department financials, and reviewed employee concerns. 

The result? She built a new schedule that solved both the morale and staffing problems. The Lab Director was thrown off initially, but once the progress became apparent, was appreciative of the support.

Leadership (Not Just HR)
That my friends, is real HR leadership. 

Was that in the HR Director's job description? No.
Was that "old school" HR? No.
Was that taking a risk that the organization could not recover from? No.

Here's the part that so many of us miss, including me, multiple times.

We have the authority as leaders to do any damn thing we need to do. There is no one holding us back. There is no one telling us 'no.' If we are going to earn the respect that we must earn, it is entirely up to us to take action.

Action trumps excuses every time.

How About You
What's holding you back from being a leader, not just the "HR person?" HR means so much more than the HR department, right?

Am I wrong? Should we lead for real...or just keep processing all of that paperwork?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Get Off My Lawn

I have become an angry old man.

You see, getting (a bit) older is an interesting thing. While I try really hard to be a positive force in my little world, I can sometimes fall in the trap of...well...not being so positive.

Those Darn Leaders
The curse of high expectations can be costly. On one hand I work extremely hard to ensure phenomenal results are achieved; and, I can also be critical when junior-level leaders try hard but repeatedly fall short.

Get off my lawn you struggling leaders!

Those Darn Team Members
I'm blessed to help lead an organization that is absolutely loaded with bright young minds. Their energy is infectious, and pushes me to keep bringing my A-game each day. Except, I fall into my own expectations-trap.

I expect those fired up young minds to understand everything I already have been exposed to and learned over many years. Sigh. Another #JayFail.

Get off my lawn you young people!

Those Darn Executives
Ah, at least I can rely on all of the executives leading organizations around the globe! They are my "angry old man" salvation, for sure!

But wait...did I just hear one (er, all!) of them say they don't have time for social media, branding, have any time to spend with employees, or mentor a young motivated leader because they have more meetings?

What is happening?
Excuses? Meetings? Noise!

When did policies, process, busy calendars and egos take over our passion for leadership?

Get off my lawn you scared executives!

How About You
Have you become angry in your "old age?" Well, I for one am done with being the old angry guy in the corner of the conference room. Complaining doesn't support new leaders, educate motivated young employees, or call-out stressed executives.

Action + a positive attitude does all of these things and more!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Your Career Site Is A Retention Tool

A job list.

That is literally what your "career" site is. A simple, boring, ineffective list of current open positions.

Oh, wait. You might have a picture of a smiling beautiful person who doesn't work at your company on your "site" too. Nice touch. I'm sure that will bring in the qualified applicants!

Content (hint, your employees sharing their stories)
Their is a reason that you hear employer branding and content so frequently relative to recruitment. It's how you represent yourself in 2017 to prospective employees. What is often not said however, is that employer branding can move the needle on retention as well.

Think about it. A robust employer brand / recruitment marketing strategy uses current employees constantly to spread the good news about the employer. Highlighting your own employees (instead of those 'models') on your career site is a very public form of recognition.

Sure, the certificates you hand out thanking people for being awesome are a sure-fire strategy; but maybe interviewing them for a blog post or video that could reach the entire universe is a bit more impactful? 

Are you with me?

Retain First, Recruit Second
Have any of you ever said this phrase..."our employees are our most important asset." Of course you have... WE ALL HAVE!

Except, how many of us highlight our employees on our digital properties to make sure we keep the best ones, and attract the ones we need like they do and they do?


When you put your people on your careers page, loaded with stories, engaging photographs and videos, you send a powerful message that your employees literally are your most important asset.

How About You
Are you ready to start retaining your people, and show potential applicants that you are the most progressive employer in your industry? What are you waiting for? I'm ready to help you!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Scared to Death

"Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things."
Peter Drucker

I feel like I've been a rule-breaker in human resources leadership for many years. Ours is a profession filled with policies, rules, SOPs, laws, regulations, and a hell of a lot of scared HR pros.

Scared to make decisions.
Scared to be bold.
Scared to 'get in trouble.'
Scared to take risks.
Scared to be different.
Scared to put it all on the line.
Scared to try new things.

Friends, it seems like HR is scared to death.

What Is Up With HR?
What is it that holds HR professionals back? What could possibly be so pervasive that nearly an entire profession is mired in writing policies, saying no, avoiding all risks and yet still consider themselves as contributing?

I don't get it.

I've met a growing number of HR pros who are all about making an enormous difference in their organizations. Why isn't everyone in our profession clambering to get to the front of the innovation line?

Enlighten me friends! Who is leading the way in HR?
- in the US

- in Europe
- in India
- in Australia
- in New Zealand
- in China
- in...well...everywhere else!

How About You
When did you make the transition from scared to fired up? What made the difference? Was it an inspirational colleague; a progressive CEO; or maybe a new corporate culture that made it "okay" for you to be what you always knew you could be?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Market Garden Leadership

I hear a lot of big talk from leaders. Epic plans! Grandiose statements about "doing this" and "delivering on that!" 

Big talk is important. It can inspire others to follow you. It can motivate teams to take that extra risk to achieve breakthrough results. It can be...something special.

It can also be a colossal failure.

Plan the Big Talk
I've tried lots of bold strategies in my career. Some were wildly successful, and others....well...not so much. One phrase, however, proved to be true in each scenario whether it was a winning idea or a losing one: preparation and execution.

The common trap of over-preparation often leads to inaction, which I've railed against many times before on this blog. We can never be fully prepared; rather, we just have to be as prepared as possibly without delaying the second half of this phrase.


Execute (and monitor closely) the Big Talk
Simply putting together a good plan is not even remotely close to actually leading the effort. High success rates require leaders understand what is happening, recognize when the situation starts to drift from the original intent, and most importantly, not be afraid to jump in and literally lead the project across the finish line.

Too many leaders cower in fear when the anticipated outcome is "suddenly" at risk. They freeze up hoping to blame others instead of making real-time decisions to keep things moving forward.

Oh, how arrogance and fear get in the way of success!

How About You
When have you seen a leader struggle with the execution of a plan? Have they frozen in place when that plan seemed to be in jeopardy; or, did they have the resolve to pivot and personally ensure the correct decisions were made?

What did you do while they struggled? Did you jump in to help...or, stand idly by?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic wwii

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Crazy Thankful

Ah, yes. Thanksgiving. That special time of year when we get really thoughtful about those who mean the most to us. Those we love, those we miss, those who make a profound difference in our lives...

It's really powerful when you think about it. 

Then, of course, the next day we open up the shopping mosh pit and beat the crap out of each other at Target trying to save $100 on a TV we don't need.


Thankful for Work Stuff
After so many years driving to hospitals for work, I now travel extensively to...wait for it...hospitals!

I know...huge change, but I'm actually thankful for that. Although nothing says "I'm blessed" like switching your commute from a car to an airplane.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Jay, you have a cool gig with a cool company and you get to do all of that traveling!

Sure, I'm thankful...that hotel rooms have's the little things.

Thankful for Work People Stuff
The really important part of Thanksgiving however, is remembering the people in our lives.

- The hiring managers that never get back to us with their feedback.

- The leaders who are afraid of social media. They keep me employed. 

- The wanna be executives who are so full of themselves they miss the point of leading.

- The executives who still think the world knows how good their organizations are because...well..."they're special!" See "permanent employment for Jay" above.

How About You
So many things to be thankful for this year. But most of all...I'm thankful that you all have a sense of humor.

Keep pushing friends...we're going to change the world if it kills us!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.